Nvidia’s chipsets for Intel Core 2 Duo processors go on winning widest recognition, mostly due to the arrival of affordable mainboards based on the Nvidia nForce 650i SLI chipset that looks superior to Intel’s alternatives in the overclocker’s eyes. Such mainboards are less expensive than products based on the more advanced nForce 680i SLI and their single drawback is that they support SLI as PCI Express x8 + x8. Considering that SLI is not a very popular technology, even in computers of enthusiasts, it is natural for the nForce 650i SLI to be that popular, especially as mainboards on the nForce 650i Ultra (without SLI support) have not yet been released.
We are keeping watch over overclocker- and enthusiast-targeted mainboards from different brands and are going to discuss the P6N SLI Platinum model from MSI in this review. Based on the nForce 650i SLI, this mainboard is similar to the ASUS P5N-E SLI we have reviewed recently (for details see our article called Nvidia nForce 650i SLI Chipset and only $130: ASUS P5N-E SLI Mainboard Review).
By the way, we haven’t often dealt with MSI mainboards because this manufacturer just did not offer really interesting products that could rival the leading brands in quality of manufacture and performance. However, MSI is now among those companies Nvidia trusted to develop their own mainboard designs for nForce 6xx series chipsets. It means MSI’s engineering team was allowed by the chipset manufacturer into the narrow circle of trusted developers that are qualified enough to create high-quality products on their own. We can expect good consumer qualities from the new MSI mainboards based on Nvidia’s chipsets then.
Considering the rather mediocre performance of the ASUS P5N-E SLI in our earlier tests, the MSI P6N SLI Platinum may prove to be the best nForce 650i SLI-based solution released so far. This is the reason of our high interest towards the object of this review.